3 Lessons From Our Founding Fathers

Many of you celebrated Independence Day yesterday on the 4th of July, but since it occurred on the weekend, some of you will also be celebrating today. Today we’re going to briefly revisit history and extract 3 lessons that we can take away from our founding fathers.

As most of you know, on July 4th, we celebrate our Declaration of Independence on July 4, 1776. However, according to the good folks at, “The Declaration of Independence wasn’t signed on July 4, 1776. In fact, independence was formally declared on July 2, 1776, a date that John Adams believed would be “the most memorable epocha in the history of America.” On July 4, 1776, Congress approved the final text of the Declaration. It wasn’t signed until August 2, 1776″.

But the matter wasn’t settled even on August 2, 1776 – as a matter of fact, it was just getting started. The Revolutionary War spanned a period from April 19, 1775 – September 3, 1783.

So why the history lesson? (1) I love this stuff! (2) There are so many parallels between our freedoms as a country and the freedom fought for and eventually enjoyed by families of declining parents. Here are 3 observations that applied then and now.

It takes a lot of bravery to get started!

Those who signed the Declaration of Independence knew one obvious fact – if they weren’t successful their heads would (literally) roll first!

When a parent starts to decline in physical or cognitive health, we may be called to action. Like our forefathers, we know that we are unprepared and out-gunned, but we take up arms anyway. We do what’s necessary to help get the best result for our declining parents and for our own families. This is far from an easy task. We didn’t sign up for this battle. It will take a lot of bravery to start and a lot of perseverance to work through the daily tasks.

We don’t know how it will turn out!

The Journal of the American Revolution, featured an article entitled “The 25 Deadliest Battles of the Revolutionary War”. One quote from that article was that [Among these 25 deadliest battles], “only Ramsour’s Mill is considered a decisive American victory. The vast majority are decisive British victories with a handful of debated draws.” But we won the war anyway!

There is a quote attributed to Woody Allen to the effect of “Just showing up is half the battle!” Our troops in the Revolutionary War didn’t just “show up”. The conflict came to them and they had to respond.

None of us would have chosen the “battle” we fight to help our declining parents. But they need our help and we show up to do everything we can do to make a difference for them. Some of us show up in person to help and some of us help remotely – but the actions we take can and will make a difference in the lives of our parents. We don’t know how this will turn out, but we show up anyway.

We have to Pivot a lot!

Most texts on this subject show that our leaders had to pivot on almost a daily basis to experience eventual success. Most of the initial strategies failed and our troops had to quickly pivot and take other actions based on the facts that were presented at the time.

When we are working to help a parent declining in physical or cognitive health, we can’t know what will happen next. We just have to know that we are doing the best we can on their behalf now – and have to be prepared to quickly pivot when things change. The key is to plan ahead, know what’s likely to happen in the future and be prepared in advance with our next strategy.

Like our forefathers, we didn’t plan to serve in a pressure packed situation, but we were called to arms. Our job now is to gather the facts, consult with professionals, craft a plan, implement the plan and be ready to pivot on a moment’s notice.

What actions do you need to take today to help your Mom retain her independence?

We want to be friends!

Ok. That might come off a little fast, considering we barely know each other. However, we fully understand the stress and turmoil that you are facing as Family Caregiver – including personal experiences with burnout.

In our time as caregivers, we have amassed a wealth of knowledge that we desire to pass on. Likewise, we have met many professional caregivers, as well as other family members who were thrust as Family Caregiver. All caregivers have shared the same advice – Join a community! There is nothing more cleansing for our situation than knowing that we are not alone!

We have since created Caregiver Connection. Caregiver Connection is a newsletter that we write personally and send to fellow Caregivers. It is full of tips, tricks, and even professional advice. If you would like to sign up, click the button below.

Please Invite Someone to Our Newsletter

Being a member of the sandwich generation can be a scary, frustrating and lonely place lacking stability. You feel like you are solely responsible for solving Mom’s problems while managing yours. Some occasional input and a community to plug into would help, especially when facing burnout! This is a way that all of us can be working together as caregivers!

Many others that you may personally know are having to figure it all out by themselves. Most of them have no community. Please take a minute and do them a favor. Copy this link – – and send it to them in an email or private message. They can click on it and subscribe to our newsletter for free.

Then they can enjoy weekly tips and encouragement. They no longer have to feel so alone in their family caregiver journey. They will appreciate the favor! Thank you for thinking of them!

Thank You for being a Caregiver for Your Loved One – you are making a huge difference in their life!

About the Author

Doug & his wife Cindy have not only helped hundreds of families with their estate planning and elder law needs over the years, but have personal experience as caregivers and advocates for their Loved Ones as well.

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